From the Richmond Dispatch, 2/8/1864, p. 1, c. 7
Judge Lyons’s Court. – In this Court, on Saturday, the counsel who defended Robert S. Forde, for the murder of Robert E. Dixon, in this city, on the 94th of April last, made a motion for a new trial. The reasons upon which they based their application were, the development of important testimony in favor of their client since the termination of the recent examination, and also the refusal of the Judge to postpone the trial for ten days, longer. At the conclusion of the remarks of counsel, Judge Lyons overruled the motion, and thereupon pronounced sentence upon Forde of eighteen years in the penitentiary. Time was then asked to file bills of exception, embracing five separate counts, to be argued before the Court of Appeals for a new trial.
Before leaving the room Forde addressed the Court in a few remarks. He stated that it was not his intention to kill Dixon.--Through Gen. Read he desired to bring about a duel between Dixon and himself, but, failing in that, his next desire was to avoid a meeting till some steps could be taken to settle the matter amicably through a correspondence. On the day of the shooting, while coming through the Square, he did not observe D. till he was close upon him, and saw that himself and Goodwin were intently watching him. It was then too late honorably to retreat, and believing that a conflict was inevitable he drew his pistol simultaneous with the same proceeding on the part of Dixon. D. fired first. His allusion to the hard fate of his young wife was quite affecting, and he concluded by commending her to the care of that God who “tempers the winds to the shorn lamb.”
Judge Lyons then adjourned his Court till the regular course of the next meeting.